009 | BOSS DD-3: A Closer Look at this Digital Delay Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode nine of the Sonic Renegades podcast, where we're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for discussion today, one of my personal favorites, Boss's DD-3 digital delay pedal. I absolutely love this thing and we are looking forward to unpacking it for you today. I'm Scott Schwertly here at Siren pedals.

Austin Bryan:
Hey guys, Austin Brian with Siren pedals.

Scott Schwertly:
Today, we've got a fun delay pedal that we are absolutely excited to talk to you guys about today, and that is Boss's DD-3 digital delay pedal.

Austin Bryan:
DD-3, the digital delay.

Scott Schwertly:
I've actually, for the longest time, I've been using Way Huge's Aqua-Puss, and got the urge, maybe, I don't know, two weeks ago to actually pick up the Boss DD-3. I wish I would've picked up this thing long time ago, because I absolutely love it. In fact, I booted my Aqua-Puss off my board and have replaced it with this thing. It's just testament to the fact that I love this pedal a whole bunch.

Austin Bryan:
It's a fun delay pedal. Overall, if you look on a board and ask somebody, "Hey, what delay are you using?", there's a good chance you'll see this white pedal with a blue accents.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, it's great. I love the color of it, love the sound of it. It's a Boss pedal, so it's like a tank. So, really can't complain about it.

Austin Bryan:
It'll outlast all of us.

Scott Schwertly:
Probably, probably so. For sure. Well, let's talk a little bit about the history of this great pedal. If you actually explore the roots of the stomp box, it actually goes all the way back to 1983, when Boss rolled out the first version of it, which was the DD-2. This pedal came with a lot of skepticism and criticism, just because it was so stinking expensive.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. New for the time. Having a digital delay pedal, having that at that time, was a new concept. Because, everything was really rack mounts, so a big, big, endeavor for sure.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, just that technology altogether obviously came with a hefty price tag, and that turned off a lot of people. Those that actually had a chance to use it or get their hands on it began the beginning steps of the popularity surrounding this wonderful device.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. And then 1986.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, that was, that was the year.

Austin Bryan:
That was the year we were gifted the DD-3. Crazy. Thinking about delay pedals, like how easy it is to get a delay pedal these days, and thinking back in that time of how everything was really... Like a lot of folks are using racks. It is crazy to think that this pedal really is, with the DD-2 previously to that, this pedal has changed the delay game, in terms of it being a foot switch pedal. You've got a stomp box for delay.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, yeah. Again, thinking back on 1983, I mean I'm a kid who grew up in the eighties, so thinking 1983, that's when GI Joe came out. I think transformers came out like an '84 or so, or maybe even 83. I'm sure somebody's going to correct me on the dates on all this stuff. Yeah, to have that technology at that time is insane. It's something that we definitely take for granted these days.

Austin Bryan:
Now, you can go into pretty much any music store and go, "Where's your delays?" And yeah, somebody knows [crosstalk 00:03:36].

Scott Schwertly:
You can buy like some cheapie Donner pedal for $30 that those delay.

Austin Bryan:
You can.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's just readily available to all of us at this point in time. Again, definitely love this pedal, has a lot of history to it, obviously, going back to '83, and more specifically for the DD-3, going back to 1986. Yeah, fantastic pedal. And no surprise here, a lot of our favorite musicians actually use this thing. I know you love Dave Grohl. He's a user of this.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys. This is one pedal that, I think if it's not currently on boards, it has been in various stages of people's playing career. In some manner, shape, or form it's been in the studio on a recording. It's been somewhere. If it's not on a current rig, it has been, at some point.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, we're talking to folks, whether they use it now or have used it in the past, I mean, everybody from Tom York to Matt Bellamy, Slash, Prince, Buckethead, so many great musicians.

Austin Bryan:
A versatile listing of artists, for sure.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, And obviously, for folks that are fans of this podcast, the artist that got me onto it is Tom Morello. He, in fact, has two DD-3s on his pedalboard. He's got one, and he talks about this in one of his masterclasses, but talks about how he has two on his board simply just because he's lazy and doesn't want to change the control knobs, but he's got one set purely for short delay and then another one set for long delay.

Austin Bryan:
That's cool.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Where you'll hear it is when he does short delay, typically that's, again, the helicopter effect on Cochise, or long delay, again, if he's doing any sort of solo or anything along those lines. Typically, he's tapping into that long delay. Think about like the intro to I Am The Highway, where he's playing those intro chords and just bringing that in. He's obviously using the long delay in instances like that.

Austin Bryan:
He doesn't have one, he has two.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah.

Austin Bryan:
Cool.

Scott Schwertly:
He's obviously a fan. So again, fantastic pedal, obviously, with a lot of great musicians that have tapped into its strengths. As we do with any episode in this podcast, we like to talk about the things that we don't like and do like about this pedal. We'll quickly touch on some of those things that we don't like. As far as flaws with this, obviously it has a lineage or a history of being expensive. Not so much today. You can buy any DD-3 or any version of it for a fairly affordable price. In fact, I was able to get mine on Reverb, brand new actually, for $99. So not too bad.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. I mean, there are folks that are really picky. There are the MIJ, the made in Japan ones, that have the bigger delay chips, everybody's really, really, looking after those. You might see some of those up from like $140 up to maybe $200. It just depends. But there are a lot of folks who have analyzed this pedal and have sought the best iterations that they can try and find of it. The new ones, to me, and the old ones, across the board, they do their job and they sound great.

Scott Schwertly:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. I mean, it is fantastic. I know one big complaint specifically about this model, again we're focusing our conversation here on the DB-3, is the no tap tempo. I know a couple of people have complained about that. You'll see it on different forums and different sites. Not a huge big deal to me, but I know, for some, it is a deal breaker in some cases.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. In terms of the features, as a Boss pedal, it's pretty straight forward. For somebody who's a novice, a new guitarist, who's trying to maybe break into the world of effects, what does all these things mean on the pedal? Well, there's delay times and there are certain aspects of this pedal that you'll have to try and sit down with to really hear, because there's a lot of numbers involved. But when you actually are able to put those numbers to what's happening to the sound, you can understand what short, medium, long delay are. For some folks, maybe that are new to this, might go way over their heads right off the bat. It might not be something they think about immediately putting on their board.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, yeah. Definitely for a newcomer, I can see how this can be intimidating, particularly starting out. If you have the patience and you can spend the time with it, rest assured it's a great delight pedal to embrace.

Austin Bryan:
It's simple, but it's got some controls that, and some settings there, that might go over someone who's new head. It could be something that might take a little bit of time and practice to get used to and having to actually utilize delay into their playing. It definitely took me some time when I started out just getting used to hearing that tone and how that worked into a dry signal. It's crazy.

Scott Schwertly:
Well, on the opposite end of that, once you do get to that place of comfortability, you can almost look at that as a plus, because you can play around and have so much versatility is whether you do the long delays or the short delay. It's built on this whole 12 bit delay. It just opens up a world of delay options, which is fantastic.

Austin Bryan:
And you get two of them, and you put them on your board, one for short, one for long.

Scott Schwertly:
So there you go.

Austin Bryan:
It's great. The warm tone and the natural sound of this delay is... It's comfortable. I don't feel like I have to really fight with it when I'm sitting down with it to really incorporate it into my rig. I feel like it sits in the mix very well, as a very warm tone. It's a buffered bypass Boss pedal. It's going to do what it does.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Agreed. I know when I've messed around with it, again I've only had on my board for a week or two, but it sounds so airy, or spacious, or I don't know, majestical. Just something about this quality of delay that, for me, again, I know this is all completely subjective when we're talking about tone, but yeah, I just find it just completely resonates with me and the tone that I'm trying to capture.

Austin Bryan:
I mean, if you're looking to expand your sonic palette and you're trying to maybe find some more ambient sounds, you want to get into maybe some shoegaze, and you want to try and see what you can do to move the air more so than the notes, a delay pedal would be a great way to go. The Boss digital delay, the DD-3 specifically, I think it's streamlined enough that you could dial it, set it, where you needed to. I guess another thing is, yeah, if you wanted to have different settings and stuff, you might need to get more than just one.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Again, you be like Tom Morello and have two.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. Or, maybe I'll have three. I'd be the DD-3 with three.

Scott Schwertly:
There you go. There you go. Obviously, it's a boss pedal, so this thing is an absolute tank. We were joking earlier that it'll probably last longer than us. And it's true. I mean, you can beat this thing up and it'll take a beating for sure.

Austin Bryan:
Oh yeah. What's really cool, noticing this pedal, that the way that you can actually control the delay manually from 12.5 milliseconds to 800 milliseconds. That amount of control and that amount of time, you've got a lot you can utilize in that sense. Of the modes, as well, from just having a set short, medium, and long, you can get some stuff on the fly if you need it. But, if you want to fine tune it got to get used to that delay time and how that affects everything.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. If you're curious on what this pedal actually sounds like, we're going to go and connect our telly here at the office, our good old telly that we've used for a few episodes here.

Austin Bryan:
Old reliable.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. We'll just run through a few of the modes. You should able to clearly see the distinction between the different settings there as we run through it. Yeah. And we'll give this thing a spin.

Austin Bryan:
Delay, delay, delay, delay, delay. That's the DD-3, Boss digital delay.

Scott Schwertly:
I love this pedal so much.

Austin Bryan:
It's cool. It really is a fun effect. Yeah, sitting down, being able to mess around with the delay times, you could hear it for yourself, but jumping between short, medium, and long, you've got a lot of possibilities with this thing.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I know. I feel like we should be endorsed by Boss. We've now covered the DS-1 for distortion, and now the DD-3 for delay.

Austin Bryan:
Oh, man.

Scott Schwertly:
Obviously, we sound like fan boys.

Austin Bryan:
They're fun. They're fun. They're a staple.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. But yeah. Fun stuff. So awesome. Well, that's what we wanted to cover today on the DD-3. Join us next time. We're going to get into another classic pedal. We're actually going to cover, Ibanez's mini tube screamer. Obviously, the tube screamer has a very rich history behind it. For that conversation, we're going to specifically talk about the mini version of the tube screamer.

Austin Bryan:
So cool.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's very cool. I love this pedal. It's fun. I mean, who doesn't love a tube screamer, right?

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. And a mini one. What? So cool.

Scott Schwertly:
Yes. Very cool. Awesome guys. Well, have a great day, have a great week, and we will see you next time.

Austin Bryan:
See you all later.

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